Let’s say at the outset — “we” and “us” are general terms. And no matter what the media (yeah, I’m part of it) try to shove down your throats, we’re not “polarized.” Things are much more complicated than that.
♦♦ We have evangelicals who are concerned about climate change, no matter how many evangelical preachers tell their congregations Trump is the savior and the Democrats are devils.
♦♦ We have a growing group that thinks Obama and the Clintons are too conservative, all tied to closely to Wall Street.
♦♦ Along those lines, a recent op-ed on curbing immigration was written by … Hillary Clinton.
“Left” and “right” doesn’t make much sense any more. Republicans have long ago tossed Reagan’s ideology out the window. It won’t be long before they burn down one of the two most prominent Washington-area things named after him — the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. (For more, see what Reagan’s daughter, Patti Davis, wrote last year.) On the other alleged pole, calling Obama and either Clinton “socialist” is a good way to make Europeans — and many educated and/or younger Americans — laugh or cry.
Cry? Let’s hang on to that for a minute.
One driving force — not the sole driving force by any means, but substantial — behind current political trends is the desire to afflict “elites.” These would be “liberals” who don’t care about or listen to anyone else’s needs.
And there’s a bit of truth to that. Have “liberals” been tuned in to people outside urban areas? Probably not.
So — point taken. “Elites” have been getting the message that they need to listen. Well, some of them. Some are clinging to stereotypes of their own, thinking Middle America is all racist and ignorant. But the 2016 election caused considerable fretting and hand-wringing that Democrats have been taking people for granted.
And in general, these “elites” you gripe about have empathy. And we’re concerned that empathy is declining.
The other thing we’re worried about is a lack of respect for facts.
That’s where we’ll start. The “elites” are listening. If you don’t mind, could we please have a turn speaking?
“Elites” aren’t who you think they are
Let’s look at the earnings in various professions. We’ll use Salary.com as much as possible for the sake of consistency. In some cases, I’ve included the “I” and “III” levels for a position to get a range of experience:
- Chief Communications Officer: $212,300
- Drilling Foreman: $108,100
- Clergy: $95,800
- Accountant IV: $91,344
- Engineer III: $92,651
- Engineer I: $66,655
- Machinist III: $60,856
- Aircraft and Power Plant Mechanic, Senior (high school education): $62,730
- Assistant Professor – English: $58,861
- Automotive Mechanic III: $56,700
- Public School Teacher: $56,376
- Plumber: $55,587
- Carpenter: $54,423
- Accountant I: $53,136
- Staff Writer/Reporter III: $52,283
- Entry Field Operator (mining, HS education): $47,700
- Entry Geologist (mining, BA): $45,500
- Academic Advisor: $46,102
- Machinist I: $42,627
- Staff Writer/Reporter I: $35,523
You may argue these professions are selective. But they should be enough to show there are plenty of “working man” jobs that are paid more than jobs that require college degrees. (And, therefore, college debt.) You can’t just assume college grads — in some cases, people with doctorates — are taking all the money you should be making.
The people making money, of course, work in finance. Or they’re CEOs who make 4 zillion times more than you do.
And you don’t want to raise taxes on those CEOs? They’re the ones who are robbing you. Not college professors. Not journalists.
What motivates college professors and journalists (and a lot of government workers who chose the public sector over private jobs that pay waaaaay more)?
We’ll pick up from here …